By Dario Poli.
Ennio Morricone, Grande Ufficiale OMRI (born November 10, 1928) is an Italian composer and conductor who died on the 6th July 2020 aged 91.
The greatest, most original composer and creative musician of this century, by passing other talented musicians by miles in musical originally and innovation..We will never see his like again, as it’s impossible. I am so sad to feel his passing, but blessed to be living as his genius was flowing out to all of us…
Ennio Morricone is the musician of our times, who has inspired me emotionally and technically more than any other, (excluding the great established classical composers of the past) from the first time I heard his arrangement ( ahead of its time) of a simple love song “Sapore di Sale,” written and sung by Gino Paoli. I was sixteen years of age at that time and being overwhelmed by the musical arrangement I enquired who was the arranger. After I found out, and with my limited pocket money, I bought every single song I could find with the name E. Morricone on it. Even in those young years,I felt that this E. Morricone was more than special; I felt a genius not yet discovered.
I was often ridiculed by my peers, for my open endorsement of this unheard of Italian musician that the world hardly knew and unknown even in Hollywood. But I remained certain of his unique talents and years later, my instincts proved to be correct and I was vindicated!
Today, he is considered one of the most prolific and influential film composers of his era. Morricone has composed and arranged scores for countless film and TV productions. He is well-known for his long-term collaborations with international acclaimed directors such as Sergio Leone, Brian De Palma, Barry Levinson, and Giuseppe Tornatore.
He wrote the characteristic film scores of Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) and Once Upon a Time in the West(1968). In the 80s, Morricone composed the scores for John Carpenter’s horror movie The Thing (1982), Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America (1984), Roland Joffé’s The Mission(1986), Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables(1987) and Giuseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso (1988). His more recent compositions include the scores for Oliver Stone’s U Turn(1997), Tornatore’s The Legend of 1900 (1998) and Malèna(2000), De Palma’s Mission to Mars(2000), Lajos Koltai’s Fateless (2005), and Tornatore’s Baaria – La porta del Vento (2009).
Two of my personal favourites recordings of Ennio’s, remain his brilliant arrangements and recordings which he made with the French singing star Mireille Matthieu recorded in the 1970’s, and his musical score of Nove Cento (1900) for the film of that name; a truly inspirational work.
Morricone has won two Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, five Anthony Asquith Awards for Film Music by BAFTA in 1979–1992 and the Polar Music Prize in 2010. He has been nominated for five Academy Awards for Best Music, Original Score during 1979–2001. He received the Academy Honorary Award in 2007 “for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music”.
Ennio was born in Rome, the son Mario and Libera Morricone, a jazz trumpeter. Morricone wrote his first compositions when he was six years old and was encouraged to develop these natural talents. he was forced to take up the trumpet, he had first gone to the National Academy of Santa Ceciliato take lessons on the instrument at the age of nine.Morricone formally entered the conservatory in 1940 at the age of 12.
He studied the trumpet, composition, choral music, and choral direction under Goffredo Petrassi, who deeply influenced him and to whom Morricone has dedicated concert pieces. These were the difficult years of World War II in the heavily bombed “open city”; the suffering of the people and his feelings of constant hunger, was part of his wartime experiences that influenced many of his scores for films set in that period.
Morricone has worked for television, from a single title piece to variety shows and documentaries to TV series, including the US TV Western The Virginian (1971), Moses (1974) and Marco Polo (1982). One notable composition, “Chi Mai” was used in the films, Maddalena (1971) and Le Professionnel (1981) as well as the TV series The Life and Times of David Lloyd George (1981). He wrote the score for the Mafia television series La piovra , including the themes “Droga e sangue” (“Drugs and Blood”), “La morale”, and “L’immorale.
Morricone worked as the conductor of seasons 3 to 5 of the series. He also worked as the music supervisor for the television project La bibbia (“The Bible”).
In the late 1990s, he collaborated with his son, Andrea, on the Ultimo crime dramas. Their collaboration yielded the BAFTA-winningNuovo cinema Paradiso. In 2003, Ennio Morricone scored another epic, for Japanese television, called Musashi and was the Taiga drama about Miyamoto Musashi, Japan’s legendary warrior. A part of his “applied music” is now applied to Italian television films.
There is much more that can be written about this great composer and to this very day I remain his most fervent and devoted fan and I thank heaven, that we were able to live at this time to be fortunate to listen to his music and be part of this composers unequalled creative experience.
International Prizes and Awards for music accorded to Ennio Morricone!
- 1965 — Nastro d’Argento for A Fistful of Dollars
1967 — Diapason d’Or
1969 — Premio Spoleto Cinema
1970 — Nastro d’argento for Metti una sera a cena
1971 — Nastro d’argento for Sacco e Vanzetti
1972 — Cork Film International for La califfa
1979 — Oscar Nomination for Days of Heaven
1979 — Premio Vittorio de Sica
1981 — Premio della critica discografica for Il prato
1984 — Premio Zurlini
1985 — Nastro d’argento and BAFTA for Once Upon A Time In America
1986 — Oscar Nomination, BAFTA and Golden Globe Award for The Mission
1986 — Premio Vittorio de Sica
1988 — Nastro d’argento, BAFTA, Grammy Award and Oscar Nomination for The Untouchables
1988 — David di Donatello for Gli occhiali d’oro
1989 — David di Donatello for Nuovo Cinema Paradiso
1989 — Ninth Annual Ace Winner for Il giorno prima
1989 — Pardo d’Oro alla carriera (Locarno Film Festival)
1990 — BAFTA, Prix Fondation Sacem del XLIII Cannes Film Festival and David di Donatello for Nuovo Cinema Paradiso
1991 — David di Donatello for Stanno tutti bene
1992 — Oscar Nomination for Bugsy
1992 — Pentagramma d’oro
1992 — Premio Michelangelo
1992 — Grolla d’oro alla carriera (Saint Vincent)
1993 — David di Donatello and Efebo d’Argento for Jonas che visse nella balena
1993 — Globo d’oro Stampa estera in Italia
1993 — Gran Premio SACEM audiovisivi
1994 — ASCAP Golden Soundtrack award (Los Angeles)
1995 — Premio Rota
1995 — Leone d’Oro Honorary award (Venice Film Festival)
1996 — Premio Cappelli
1996 — Premio Accademia di Santa Cecilia
1997 — Premio Flaiano
1998 — Columbus Prize
1999 — Erich Wolfgang Korngold Internationaler Preis für Film
1999 — Exsquibbidles Film Academy lifetime achievement award
2000 — Golden Globe Award for The Legend of 1900 (1998)
2000 — David di Donatello for Canone inverso
2000 — Oscar nomination for Malèna
2002 — Honorary Degree by the “Seconda Università” of Rome
2003 — Golden Eagle Award for 72 Meters
2003 — Honorary Senator of the Filmscoring Class of the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München
2006 — Grand Officer award from President of the Italian Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
2007 — Honorary Academy Award for career achievement
2007 — The Film & TV Music Award for Lifetime Achievement
2008 — Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental, performed by Bruce Springsteen
2008 — Knight in the Order of the Legion of Honor
2009 — Medal of Merits for Macedonia
2009 — America Award of the Italy-USA Foundation
2010 — Polar Music Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of the Arts